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Database quick guides: PatentInspiration

Quick references of the most central databases in the University of Oulu


Finding variations of a word   

Wildcard characters

at the end of a word

*  replaces zero or any number of characters

Metal* retrieves metal, metals, metallic, metallurgy, metallurgical...


Word stemming is in use.    metallic retrieves metallic, metal, metals etc.


Phrase in quotation marks

- wildcards can be used    "waste water"       "waste water*"


Boolean operators

AND, OR, NOT    
condition AND monitoring

condition monitoring  retrieves condition AND monitoring

Proximity operators

NEAR/n                       nano NEAR/3 cellulose
"search terms"~n        "nano cellulose"~3    There can be 0..2 words between the words nano and cellulose.
The terms must appear within a specified number of terms (n-1). Either word may appear first.

Order of precedence rules

Use parentheses to override operator precedence.          (condition AND monitor*) OR (failure AND detect*)  
The expression inside the parentheses is executed first.

Without parentheses OR operator is executed before NEAR and AND operator.
condition monitor* OR failure detect*  retrieves  condition AND monitor* OR failure AND detect*
-> Note! According to operator precedence OR is executed first.

Classification searches    

Patent classification:
CPC Cooperative Patent Classification

Advanced Search:
Enter the classification code into the search box and choose the field Code,
or search for the classification from CPC lookup link.

B66B5/00* retrieves also subclasses and subgroups.


Basic search finds all fields including full texts if available (WO, EP, US, CA..).

Use Edit filter to edit or continue the search.

Use Advanced Search for more detailed searching: Keyword (Title, Abstract, Claims, Description), Applicant, Inventor, Code, Number.

E.g. filtering for finnish inventors:
Search box: FI and Field: Inventor (-> Add filter)

E.g. filtering for US patents and US applications:
Search box: US* and Field: Number (-> Add filter)

Use Analyze patents to have some basic analyses e.g. activity, applicant vs time, codes vs time, coutry etc. free of charge. PRO marked analyses are fee based.